GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Police arrested a Great Falls woman on suspicion of felony endangerment in the death of her 10-month-old daughter, who prosecutors say had been exposed to methamphetamine and whose body was found in a “freezing cold” room in January.

Misty Marie Cutburth was arrested Thursday, the Great Falls Tribune reported.

Court documents say the state Division of Child and Family Services received two reports in October 2015 from people concerned about drug use by the mother.10439383_G

Court records say the girl had been seen by a doctor on Jan. 7 for croup and had been prescribed steroids. She died five days later. The girl was not identified in court records.

An investigation has not been able to determine the girl’s cause of death, which complicated the charging process, County Attorney John Parker said.

“We have laws in the state of Montana to establish criminal liability for extreme child neglect, even when there is not medical evidence establishing an exact cause of death,” he said.

The investigation began when someone called 911 on Jan. 12 to report that a child was not breathing.

Responding officers found the baby unresponsive in a cold room where the window was wide open. A medical responder couldn’t register the girl’s skin temperature on a thermometer, court records said.

The girl and her 2-year-old sibling were covered in “white nail polish,” court records said. An autopsy determined the girl had eaten earring backs and sunflower seeds. Her hair samples indicated she had been exposed to chronic methamphetamine use in the final weeks of her life.

Cutburth’s boyfriend and his brother also were at the apartment. The brother told police that everyone in the home was an addict and that no one pays attention to the children, court records said.

The two men likely won’t face criminal charges, Parker said, because a Montana Supreme Court ruling determined that to charge criminal endangerment regarding a child, prosecutors have to establish a duty of care.

“They don’t have a legal duty of care,” Parker said.

Cutburth was scheduled to make an initial appearance Friday in District Court in Cascade County. Prosecutors said she would be appointed a public defender.

The Division of Child and Family Services did not immediately return an email request for comment on the child’s death.



GREAT FALLS – Misty Marie Cutburth of Great Falls is facing a criminal charge in connection with the January death of her 10-month old daughter.

Cutburth was charged on Thursday with one count of felony criminal endangerment.

On January 12th, police responded to a call of an unresponsive child at the apartment Cutburth shared with her two children and her boyfriend on the 600 block of 4th Avenue South.

The 911 caller, a neighbor, stated, “We’ve got a child that’s not breathing.”

The occupants of the apartment had conflicting stories about how the infant was found.

According to court documents, police say the room where the baby slept was “freezing cold,” and the window was found open. The outside temperature that night was approximately 32 degrees.

Medical personnel say the child’s body temperature did not register on the thermometer, which starts registering at 86 degrees.

She was pronounced dead at Benefis Health System hospital shortly after; the child’s surface temperature was reportedly 78 degrees.

An autopsy could not pinpoint a cause of death, but prosecutors say tests determined that she had been exposed to “chronic methamphetamine use” during the final weeks of her life.

Charging documents say Cutburth has a 2013 conviction for drug paraphernalia in Idaho, and the Montana Department of Family Services had been called to the home twice in October 2015 over concerns about the mother’s drug use.


  1. Becky says:

    These statements are not correct…dont know where this information comes from but get your facts straight before talking this much sh** on someone who is mornin the loss of a baby. This all happened after a old boyfriend needed a place to stay and his friend and she told them to leave they would not and she put her babies in bed with her because they were very sick with the croup next thing she knew she was being woke up at 3 in the morning from her boyfriend who is back in jail imagine that and the friend was a drug user imagine that and back in jail who tried to kill himself in jail you also wrote a suicide letter to my sister and all of this has not been investigated they want to pin charges on somebody so they’re putting him on a mother who has lost their child our justice system is just not doing Justice for this lost baby this is not right that social media post things like this and the mother is getting death threats daily something needs to be done about this I have contacted the Attorney General’s office and Montana State Governor who is going to investigate the investigation……

  2. David Drelinger says:

    This report is not all the way accurate. The circumstances were far worse than anyone knows. As the father of one of Mistys victims I can share some more details in an attempt to find justice for baby Kendal James. Misty has been offered a deal for 1 day jail time in this murder if you can imagine just how sick county attorney John Parker is for allowing this in spite of the evidence. The entire apartment was covered in piss and shit because she wouldnt buy diapers and she would let the little babys go on the carpet and wouldn’t even clean it up. The guys there calling boyfriend and brother were actually customers of her prostitution business. The CPS in Great Falls was notified several times in the months leading up to Kendals murder and they refused to check up in the babys. After the baby girl was found dead there is a several hour gap where Misty with her sisters Alyssa and Becky (who commented here on the story) covered up and tainted the scene of the homicide to throw detectives off there trail. When police eventually arrived due to the floodesd bathroom they had arranged Misty pretended to be passed out and refused to wake up. This is the reality of just how twisted meth can leave a person. Misty is currenty 7 months pregnant with no idea who the father is and she actually told me that, she was an amazing mom and that she did nothing wrong at all. Please Pray for justice in this horrible tragedy and never forget what this drug can do to the souls of its users.